ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Oblivious Account of the Politics of EIA

Environmental Impact Assessment: Incorporating Sustainability Principles by Tor Hundloe, St Lucia: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021; pp 320, ¤119.99.

Across the globe, the exercise of environmental impact assessment (EIA) has emerged as a tool to evaluate the effects of a proposed development project on the environment. At the Earth Summit in Rio, in 1992, carrying out an EIA was declared as an obligation for projects that might impact the environment in a negative way. Tor Hundloes book titled Environmental Impact Assessment: Incorporating Sustainability Principles is an addition to the literature that advocates for expertise, has a simplistic view of development, and is tone-deaf to the politics underlying EIAs in the global South.

The book, spanning 20 chapters and divided into four parts, provides the background to EIA, illustrates its links with the principles of sustainable development, various aspects of an EIA such as the justification of its need, possible alternatives, public participation and baseline studies, offsetting of impacts, and flaws in the current process and how those can be fixed. It is peppered with Australian examples, given the authors nativity. While the book serves as an introduction to EIA for students and early-career researchers, it suffers from the typical blind spots of a white-saviour outlook to the problems of a developing world.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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